Lynne Jensen-Nelson is the dynamic founder of Conversion-omics Speakers & Consultants. A hustler even as a kid, she parlayed her educational background and Master’s Degree in Communication into a successful career in sales. She spent a decade moving through the ranks of executive leadership before starting her own business. Read more to discover Lynne’s passion for helping people and how she maintains confidence facing challenges!
Business: Conversion-omics Speakers & Consultants
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Year Started: 2014
Tell us about your company. What do you do and who do you serve?
Conversion-omics Speakers & Consultants is a Minneapolis based firm providing keynote speakers, workshop presenters, and business strategy services to clients nationwide. My core focus areas are construction/home improvement, retail, hospitality, and financial services, but also work with manufacturers, educators, and health care providers. I’m passionate about helping organizations-large and small-improve their sales process and create exceptional customer experiences.
What was your first job growing up, and what did you learn from it?
Love this question! I ask it when interviewing someone for a new position. Growing up on a farm, I did lots of jobs, but the first ones that earned $$$ were walking beans and babysitting. I even created a handwritten newspaper and sold it to my neighbors!
My first real job was waiting tables at a local restaurant. I was too young to work there legally, so they paid me in tips. (Please don’t tell the IRS!) I learned how to work with people and handle a fast paced work environment. Those skills, coupled with the casino bartender job that paid my way through college, taught me that the key to success is helping others and creating an exceptional experience.
Tell us about your career path before starting your own company.
Post college, I was an English teacher and coached tennis, basketball, track, and the speech team. After three years, it was time for something else. I loved working with kids, but wanted more, so decided to go back to school. Always fascinated by the motivation behind what people do and say, a Master’s Degree in Communication seemed like a logical place to figure it out.
Then I accidentally landed as a New Home Consultant at a National Home Builder. (Long story short, I got the job with zero experience and no real estate license.) I excelled with each new opportunity and went from Assistant Sales Person to Lead Sales to Sales Manager to Division VP and ultimately Regional Sales & Marketing Manager.
Working for a Fortune 500 company provided great opportunities, and I was lucky to have several talented mentors who challenged me to step into leadership roles. (Even though I was sure I wasn’t ready!) In each case, I dedicated myself to learning and growing.
After nine years, I decided to go on my own as a consultant and eventually bought and sold a local eco-friendly home improvement store. Within 18 months, we had tripled sales by implementing processes and enhancing the customer experience – same team, products, and prices. From there, I was hooked on helping businesses grow and improve!
Conversion-omics was created to help as many people as possible from a wide variety of industries, businesses, and organizations. We truly care about our clients and are driven to help them succeed. I love being a keynote speaker and sharing techniques to help events and people excel. My fav response is when audience members reach out after a presentation to share how using the Conversion-omics techniques increased their confidence and improved their business.
What is a typical day like?
On event days I stick to a strict schedule, so I’m ready to crush it on stage! Decent sleep, some breakfast, and a review of the audience/goals for the presentation all help me prepare. I’m always trying to come up with new, fun ways to kickoff and wrap-up presentations.
After a keynote, I meet with audience members who want to ask questions or share their stories about customers, sales, and learning opportunities. The rest of the day is spent connecting, traveling, and preparing for the next presentation.
Tell us about a hard time in your life. What did you learn from it?
Although I have had more than my share of learning opportunities, two experiences impacted me significantly. The first was when I was just a kid. My parents were very hard workers-teachers and farmers. They bought their dream ranch and moved our family to it with the hopes of making it big. Unfortunately, during one of the winters, a blizzard killed a large portion of our cattle. The financial and emotional impact of this loss was so substantial that they had to sell the ranch.
We came in with big dreams and left with very little. I remember seeing how this devastated my parents, and it’s always driven me to keep working, keep fighting, and never let up. Bad things can happen at any time. It’s made me a bit of a control freak. I am a belt, suspenders, and safety pins kind of person-meaning I tend to over plan.
The second involved my professional life. From 1999-2008 I worked for an awesome national home building company. My time there was filled with growth, learning, and opportunities. By working hard and embracing challenges, I earned more than I ever imagined and took on prominent leadership roles. Then I made the tough decision to leave after a health scare. Moving forward, I expected each new opportunity to be as great as this one. Unfortunately, that was not the case. The grass is not always greener!
Jumping from job to job and feeling frustrated and disappointed, I couldn’t find a place to fit in and settle down. I was even let go from one company, which was very upsetting. I was afraid I would never recover from the embarrassment. (I spend waaaaaaaaaaay too much time worrying about what other’s think. Because of my bold speaking style, most people assume I’m super confident, when in fact, I’m plagued by self-doubt.)
Looking back, I can and see how those experiences led me down a path, which ultimately brought me to owning my business and taking control of my professional future. Each company and position taught me something new – structure, goals, customers, etc. I use my background and contacts in my presentations and strategy work today.
Selling my first business for a substantial return brought back my confidence and focus. Now I spend 100% of my energy doing what I truly enjoy!
What advice or tips would you give to a new business owner?
If you want to be successful, think about what type of challenges your clients face and find a solution. Get over any fears and focus on helping others.
What’s next for your business?
We are adding more speakers and business strategists to met the growing needs of clients in virtually every industry! Long term plans, take over the world? (Ha-ha.) Or just book more National Speaking Events – might start with that first . . .
What do you believe is your single strongest skill that’s helped you succeed?
A relentless desire to leave every situation better than I found it. I try hard to make it easy for clients to work with Conversion-omics. The sales process is easy to follow and expectations about who does what are crystal clear. Plus, I’m super competitive. It gives me the drive to succeed, no matter the obstacles.
Tell us about your life outside of your business? What do you like to do?
My husband, Dean, and I live on a hobby farm in Prior Lake that we call, Horse Power Farm. The play on words covers my love of all things equine and my husband’s passion for anything fast with a motor – cars, trucks, motorcycles, and four-wheelers!
I’m a HUGE animal lover! Showing horses since I was 3 years old, some of my oldest and closest friendships were formed riding horses. I love the discipline and dedication it takes to be competitive, but it gets a little harder every year!
My entire family is into horses too – everyone from my nieces to my 70+year-old mother! My parents even met on horseback. (The only exception is my husband who still tells everyone, “My wife has horses.” Nope “WE” have horses!) Our menagerie includes horses, dogs, barn cats, our tail-less house cat Oakie, and Brownie the wonder pony!
How do you balance your career and family life?
I don’t really. Mixing work and family is comfortable. My keynote presentations are full of stories about my friends and family. On the flip side, I am always “on” following up with clients and working on new presentations. Luckily, my friends and family are cool with it. Do what you love, love what you do right?
QUICK Fun Facts…
What’s your favorite charity?
I’m on the Board of Directors for the BATC Foundation which provides safe housing solutions for veterans, the homeless, and women/families dealing with addiction. I’m also a fan of non-profits that helps animals!
What age do you want to retire at?
NEVER! This is way too much fun!
Bucket list travel destination?
We love to travel! My hubby is a fabulous travel companion. My goal is to book more international events so we can see the world.
Are you an introvert or extrovert?
They call me the Energizer Bunny! 90% of the time high energy, talking to strangers, telling funny stories, and driving the to-do list. Then I CRASH on the couch watching Netflix and snuggle with my cat.
What is your favorite blog, podcast, or book?
I am super into Marie Forleo. She has a cool, quirky energy. I want to be her when I grow up! (Or maybe be the very late-40ish version of her right now . . .)
See Lynne In Action HERE
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